Cocoa farmers have been advised to restrict themselves to their farms and desist from encroaching on forest reserves.
Project Manager for the Sefwi Wiawso and Akontombra-Bodi Landscape Management Board (LMB), Kwadwo Nti Baniako, said deforestation negatively affects cocoa production and must be given the needed attention.
He said all stakeholders particularly private companies must demonstrate their commitment to ending deforestation by supporting the activities of the LMB.
Nti Baniako was speaking at stakeholder workshop organized by Rainforest Alliance and Olam Ghana as part of their project funded by UK aid in Sefwi Wiawso in the Western region.
The Landscape Management Board held a day training program to educate cocoa farmer's on the need to protect the country's natural resources especially forest reserves.
The Project Manager revealed that LMB is leading discussions on measures to address deforestation within five forest reserves in the Western region.
The reserves are in Tano Ehuro, Tano Suhien, Suhuma, Santomang and Sui River.
On his part, Sylvester Mensah, Chairman of LMB, recounted the importance of trees to increase cocoa yields.
He was grateful to Rainforest Alliance and Olam for the training of stakeholders and installation of weather stations within the landscape.
He believes this will provide localised real-time weather information which is important for day to day management of farm activities.
Mr Mensah encouraged farmers to take advantage of this initiative and contribute to improving the corridors of these forest reserves.
The Chairman of LMB said they have a plan of actions to provide practical solutions to address deforestation.
He suggested measure like a better marketing strategy for sustainable cocoa, facilitating coordination and dialogue among government agencies, as some of the measures in response to identified issues outlined in a landscape action plan.
Also present at the stakeholder workshop were representatives from the Forestry Commission, COCOBOD, MOFA, MMDAs, Cocoa Sourcing Companies, Traditional Authorities, Youth Groups, Farmers, Timber Companies and NGOs.
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